America must turn its fattening back on the
bigger-is-better message if we're ever to get in shape, says a group of
"The value marketers say that people want more for less, but in fact that's hurting our health," says Melanie Polk, director of nutrition at the American Institute for Cancer Research. "What many people really want is less for less."
As many as 55 percent of Americans are overweight, and one in five is obese, Polk says, thanks in large part to their appetite for fast food and other restaurant meals. "We're eating out more than ever, portion sizes in restaurants are bigger than ever, even the plate sizes are bigger -- and our girth is increasing," Polk says. All those extra calories are a not-so-hidden cost of the "supersized" products that fast food restaurants and other food merchants peddle. And they're making America obese, says the cancer group. Obesity is linked to a lengthy menu of health problems, from heart trouble to high blood pressure. It's also associated with a number of cancers, including uterine, breast and kidney tumors, Polk says. "Mega-size" portions aren't an evil option, Polk says, but food chains also ought to offer people the other extreme, too -- things like half-size meals and the chance to share plates. "We are calling for restaurants to take more consideration for people who are trying to manage their weight and be healthier," Polk says.
The restaurant industry insists that it's merely giving diners what they want by offering bigger portions. "Restaurants are the industry of accommodation, and they will do what customers want them to do," says Michael Mount, a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association. "The trend on portion sizes is what people have been asking for. Some are asking for bigger portions, others ask for smaller sizes of different varieties." This could be a record year for the restaurant industry, with Americans poised to spend $346 billion eating out, Mount says. In 10 years, that figure is expected to grow to $577 billion, he says.
To be sure, most of the overeating onus falls squarely on the stomachs (er, shoulders) of consumers, Polk admits. "But the smaller options need to be available to them," she says. In fact, while Americans certainly should eat less, big portions aren't inherently unhealthy, experts say. "Unfortunately, we're supersizing the wrong foods," says Keith Ayoob, a child nutrition expert at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. "I'd like to see supersized servings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains," Ayoob says. "When people hear five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, [which is the ideal intake], they think it's a lot, but it's lots less volume than what you get in a supersized meal."
Though generally high in fat and salt, a fast-food meal every now and again isn't bad for you, Ayoob says. People run into trouble, he says, when they make it a mainstream part of their diet. And what's more, most Americans don't appreciate how many calories they're getting from a "value" meal, he says. The standard fast-food meal of a burger, fries and cola used to hold about 650 calories or so, Ayoob says. But a meal of supersized dimensions, with its extra large french fries and its 32-ounce soft drink, can nudge 1,800 calories, nearly the full recommended allotment of 2,000 calories for the average adult. "Calorie for calorie it's less expensive," Ayoob says. "But what consumers forget is that we don't need that much food. I don't think we're burning up [calories] at three times the rate."
BEING FIBBED TO MAY MAKE YOU THIN
A team of psychologists at the University of California have found that lying to patients can actually cause them to lose weight. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study reveals that scientists successfully created aversions in patients to sweets like strawberry ice cream by tricking the subjects into believing it made them sick when they were kids. The scientists also planted positive memories about nutritious foods like asparagus. Weight control experts are expressing interest in the study, but skeptics, like Stephen Behnke, director of the ethics office of the American Psychological Association, say addressing the unhealthful aspects of the American diet requires a holistic cultural approach, adding the procedure of implanting false memories "raises profound ethical questions." http://www.organicconsumers.org/Toxic/diet-lie.cfm
Obesity A Global Threat
December 20, 2000
WASHINGTON (AP) - Doctors now regard obesity as a global health threat, saying it has raised the incidence of heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and colon cancer, according to an analysis by an environment research group.
Worldwatch Institute Chairman Lester Brown also said there is growing evidence that cutting down calories is not enough to combat obesity; regular exercise is needed to maintain healthy body weight.
Sedentary lifestyles -watching television, playing computer games and surfing the Internet - are contributing to a surge in obesity, Brown said in a report.
If recent trends continue in the United States, the report said, it
is only a matter of time before the 300,000 persons who die each year from
obesity-related illnesses overtake the 400,000 who die prematurely from
The report cites Peter Kopelman of the Royal London School of Medicine, who said the medical community believes that "obesity should no longer be regarded simply as a medical problem...but as an epidemic that threatens global well-being."
What is it going to take to make people realize that excess weight is now considered worse than an epidemic! It is now a "Global Threat." It is time to make some changes and Melaleuca has some products that will aid in the weight-loss battle.
Posted at 7:29 p.m. EST Tuesday, December 26, 2000
Lawsuit accuses weight-loss supplement of causing massive stroke
SANFORD, Fla. -- (AP) -- A woman who had a stroke that left her partially paralyzed and suffering from short-term memory loss is blaming a weight-loss supplement in a lawsuit. Brenda Propps, and her husband, Michael, allege in the lawsuit filed last week in Seminole County Circuit Court that her stroke was triggered by NaturalTrim, an ephedra weight-loss supplement made by Starlight International, a Monterey, Calif.-based multilevel marketing company. Propps, a 49-year-old secretary at Forest City Elementary School, had been taking the diet aid for one year before suffering the stroke April 1, 1998. She was hospitalized for two months and now requires 24-hour care.
Propps and her lawyer, Frank Walden, charge that NaturalTrim was unsafe andcontained a dangerous combination of ingredients, including ephedrine alkaloids. The lawsuit also charges that the company failed to warn consumers of the potential for cardiovascular and nervous-system side effects.
Ephedra and its active ingredients, ephedrine alkaloids, are coming under increasing scrutiny from the medical community and the Food and Drug Administration because herbal supplements containing ephedra have been linked to 60 deaths and more than 1,000 consumer complaints to the FDA.
This article is another good example of what will happen if a company makes unsubstantiated claims about weight loss products. They will be sued, and especially if the company's products causes harm!
Posted at 6:14 a.m. EST Tuesday, December 26, 2000
Big man remarkably fit despite his heaviness
PHOENIX -- (AP) -- Dave Alexander's overweight body doesn't stop him from being an ironman.
The 5-foot-8, 260-pounder estimates he has finished 276 triathlons since 1983, causing his doctor to marvel at this remarkable combination of fitness and admitted obesity. ``I am fat,'' said Alexander, 55. ``I was born a big boy, and I'm always going to be big. But I'm healthy.'' Like many men his age, Alexander's silver hair is thinning. His bright blue eyes are going bad, and his barrel stomach is getting bigger. Other triathletes often mistake him for a race organizer. ``I'm a great bar bet,'' he said, laughing. ``I don't look like I can walk across the street, let alone run a triathlon.'' Steven Blair, senior editor of the Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health, said a surprising number of people are both fit and obese.
Here is another good example of why exercise alone will not result in weight loss. Remember: fat is not bad, we just eat to many carbohydrates and fat and can't get rid of it. The body converts carbohydrates to fat and stores this fat that is difficult to access. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a bar that has been proven to help you access this stored fat.
Last of the fat
Even the fittest use liposuction to body sculpt
By Debra Melani
Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer
She has endured marathons, 100-mile bike rides and triathlons. She snowshoes,
mountain bikes and runs. A nurse and a personal trainer, she focuses daily
on helping others become healthy and fit. On Friday, Lea Jones underwent
liposuction. That's right: The Denver resident braved the surgical knife
to have fat
suctioned from her extremely fit body.
Another example of why fat is so hard to get rid of by exercise alone. Unfortunately liposuction will not solve the problem.
* * * * *
What more will it take to make people realize that lifestyle changes are critical...don't wait until you are 40 or 50 to make those changes. It might be too late. In a local newspaper obituaries in Boise, Idaho there were 6 people who were listed that were in their 50's or younger. Obesity is just one of the risk factors...processed foods that have little nutritional value is the one that will create more problems. That is why you supplement with a good nutrition complex to make up for the lack of nutrients.
Obese Children's Arteries The Same As Heavy Smokers, Doctors Say
April 27, 2004
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- New research shows obese children as young as 10 years old have arteries resembling heavy smokers and face the prospect of coronary disease in early middle age. Using ultrasounds to monitor children's blood vessels, doctors from Hong Kong and Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital found some of the children's arteries had thickened to look like those of adult smokers.
"It means these children are at risk of heart attack or stroke in their
40s or 50s, rather than their 70s or 80s. This has terrible implications
for later in life," said Royal Prince Alfred Hospital cardiologist and
director David Celemajer said Tuesday. Even chubby children were
at risk, Celemajer said. The research will
be published in next month's issue of "International Journal of Obesity."
For the rest of the story go to this website:
Discoveries Show How Obesity Kills
May 10, 2004
(The Associated Press) -- Research into the biology of fat is turning up some surprising new insights about how obesity kills. The weight of the evidence: It's the toxic mischief of the flesh itself.
Experts have realized for decades that large people die young, and the explanation long seemed obvious. Carrying around all those extra pounds must put a deadly strain on the heart and other organs. Obvious but wrong, it turns out. While the physical burden contributes to arthritis and sleep apnea, among other things, it is a minor hazard compared to the complex and insidious damage wrought by the oily, yellowish globs of fat that cover human bodies like never before.
A series of recent discoveries suggests that all fat-storage cells
churn out a stew of hormones and other chemical messengers that fine-tune
the body's energy balance. But when spewed in vast amounts by cells swollen
to capacity with fat, they assault many organs in ways that are bad for
health. The exact details are still being worked out, but scientists
say there is no doubt this flux of biological cross-talk hastens death
from heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer, diseases that are especially
common among the
"When we look at fat tissue now, we see it's not just a passive depot of fat," says Dr. Rudolph Leibel of Columbia University. "It's an active manufacturer of signals to other parts of the body."
The first real inkling that fat is more than just inert blubber was the discovery 10 years ago of the substance leptin. Scientists were amazed to find that this static-looking flesh helps maintain itself by producing a chemical that regulates appetite. Roughly 25 different signaling compounds -- with names like resistin and adiponectin -- are now known to be made by fat cells, Leibel estimates, and many more undoubtedly will be found.
"There is an explosion of information about just what it is and what it does," Dr. Allen Spiegel, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, says of fat. "It is a tremendously dynamic organ."
Fat tissue is now recognized to be the body's biggest endocrine organ, and its sheer volume is impressive even in normal-size people. A trim woman is typically 30 percent fat, a man 15 percent. That is enough fuel to keep someone alive without eating for three months. The fat cell's main job is to store our excess calories as fat. When people grow obese, their fat cells swell with fat and can plump up to three times normal size. As very overweight people get fatter still, they may also layer on many more fat cells.
The problem is the volume of chemicals these oversize cells churn out, says Dr. George Bray of Louisiana State University. "The big cell secretes more of everything that it secreted when it was small. When you get more of these things, they are not good for you."
Many scientists are trying to learn exactly what these excess
secretions do that is so harmful. The answers will help
explain -- and perhaps offer solutions to -- the real tragedy of the obesity epidemic, its disastrous effect on health.
Obesity is a huge and growing killer, in the United States just slightly behind smoking. Moderately obese people live two to five years less than normal-size folks. For the severely obese, the reduction in life span may be five to 10 years. By far the biggest single threat of obesity is heart disease. Someone with a body mass index over 30 has triple the usual risk. Scientists can visualize many ways that fat cells' chemical flood contributes to heart attacks, heart failure and cardiac arrest.
For instance, it has long been known that weight increases blood pressure. Once doctors thought this was a matter of physics, the force needed to push blood through the many more yards of blood vessels that nourish the extra flesh.
But now it is clear that fat can trigger high blood pressure by making blood vessels narrow in several chemical ways. For instance, it produces a substance called angiotensinogen that is a powerful constrictor. At the same time, it stimulates the sympathetic nerves to squeeze the circulatory system. And that may just be the beginning.
"It's a very complicated system, and the more we learn about it, the more complicated it becomes," says Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, head of obesity research at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City.
One of the clearest hazards of overfilled fat cells is their influence on the body's production and use of insulin, the hormone that instructs the muscle to burn energy and the fat cells to store it. Oversize fat cells blunt the insulin message, in part by leaking fat into the bloodstream. So the liver must compensate by making more insulin and other proteins.
Scientists now understand that increasing insulin levels -- part
of a condition called insulin resistance -- are
particularly harmful. They can directly damage the walls of arteries and lead to clogging.
That leaking fat may also infiltrate the heart muscle, contributing to congestive heart failure. Misplaced deposits of fat can also ruin the liver and have become the second-leading reason for liver transplants after hepatitis B. Fat cells churn out a variety of proteins that cause inflammation, too. These may be especially destructive to the gunky buildups in the arteries, causing them to burst and triggering heart attacks and strokes. These inflammatory proteins and other fat-driven chemicals, such as growth hormones, may also contribute to one of the less appreciated consequences of obesity -- cancer.
"There is now conclusive evidence that obesity causes some cancers and strong evidence that it contributes to a wide variety of others," says Dr. Michael Thun, epidemiology chief at the American Cancer Society.
The cancer society estimates that staying trim could eliminate 90,000 U.S. cancer deaths a year. Among the varieties most clearly linked to weight are cancer of the breast, uterus, colon, kidney, esophagus, pancreas and gallbladder. The best evidence of how obesity causes malignancy is in breast cancer in older women. When the ovaries shut down after menopause, fat tissue becomes the primary producer of estrogen, which in turn can fuel the growth of breast tumors.
The heavier women are when diagnosed with breast cancer, the more likely they are to die from the disease, says Dr. Michelle Holmes of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Presumably it's because their cancers are dependent on estrogen, and heavier women have more estrogen."
Still, big-ticket killers like heart disease and cancer only start
the long list of obesity's health ills. Among other things, obese people
are more prone to depression, gallstones, even dying when in car accidents.
Says Dr. Michael Jensen of the Mayo Clinic, "There are so many ways that obesity can kill you."
Copyright 2004, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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